Sewickley native Wright climbs racing ladder
A 23-year-old Sewickley man is a top contender for a prestigious auto racing title.
Kris Wright moved into the points lead of the International Motor Sports Association Prototype Challenge 3 class with a victory in April at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.
The class is for closed-cockpit race cars and has 31 drivers.
Wright and a French driver teamed to win the 1 hour, 45 minute race by 34.603 seconds.
The series consists of six endurance races from January to October. Wright placed third in two earlier races at Daytona International Speedway and Sebring International Raceway, both in Florida, with different co-drivers.
The next event will be in July at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario.
The series is considered a stepping stone for semi-professional drivers to sports car championship prototype classes.
Wright finished second in series points in the Mazda Prototype Challenge class last season, including a win at Watkins Glen in New York.
Wright, whose family owns the Wright Automotive Group car dealers in Wexford and Baden, began his career in 2014 with summer racing.
“I have participated in team sports all my life and have found that the key to success is surrounding yourself with great people,” said Wright, who as a senior helped Central Catholic to the 2012-13 WPIAL Class AAA boys golf title. “Thus far in my career, I have been blessed to have a top-notch coach from Sweden, along with the opportunity to race with some great teams.”
Niclas Jonsson has guided Wright for four years and said he is coming along in a great way.
He said Wright trains hard, is smart and has great ability to adapt.
Wright, who is 5-foot-7, 150 pounds, hopes to make the Verizon IndyCar Series, the pinnacle of motorsports.
Jonsson said that is realistic, but probably a few years away.
Wright ranks 13th of 17 drivers in the Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires Series, the second step on the Mazda Road to Indy.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.